Bad freelance writing jobs. It’s a problem I’ve heard from other writers ever since I started this blog and first wrote this post. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s the antidote. Enjoy! —Carol.
Nearly every freelance writer I’ve ever met has had some bad freelance writing jobs.
And for some freelancers, it’s practically a chronic disease fraught with some of the worse offenders:
You know the types:
- The control freak who wants to instant-message you 24/7.
- The dreamer who wants the moon, but doesn’t have time to tell you how to fly there and get it for them.
- The dysfunctional nutjob who doesn’t really know *what* they want…until they see what you wrote. Then they know, that’s not it.
- The fly-by-night who disappears with your final payment.
- Last but certainly not least, the super-low payer.
If you’re sick of bad freelance writing jobs, sick-in-the-head clients, and pay rates that make it hard to breathe, here’s the antidote:
Terrified of charging higher freelance rates, even though you know you’re worth it?
If quoting big is outside your comfort zone, I get it. It seemed too risky.
What if you lose the gig?
In my family, income from my freelancing is pretty important. We depend on it being there every month, so I’m not in a position to take huge unnecessary risks. A lost gig equals lost income (and lost income doesn’t pay the mortgage).
But at some point, you’re bound to reach a tipping point. You might be terrified of the outcome, but you’re finally willing to take the risk to find out if you can command higher freelance rates.
I reached a tipping point like that earlier this year, and something pretty crazy happened.
Want to learn how to punch fear in the face, and take the leap to raise your freelance rates? Here’s how it’s done:
I knew I had to figure out the marketing piece if I hoped to be a successful freelancer, but networking for introverts and self-promotion isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do.
Before throwing myself into a crowd of people to drum up business, I thought I’d take a “class” at a local community college on networking to learn how it’s done.
There was just one problem.
The “class” turned out to be a roomful of professionals who all seemed to know each other… well. When I walked in, my mind started spinning and my heart pounding. “If I could just find a seat…”
Finally I did, and that’s when the director looked straight at me: “Stand up and tell us who you are and what your business is…”
“Who, me?” I thought. Cue the sweaty palms, queasy stomach, noodle legs, hands trembling with fear, and an intense desire to pull a bag over my head.
If you’re a fellow introvert and freelance writer, what would you do? Here’s what happened next:
Every week, I hear from people who ask me how to become a freelance writer.
You hate your job, or you can’t work outside the home, or you want to be home with your kids…the reasons vary. But the glamorous reputation of freelancing has caught your eye. Being your own boss sure sounds great!
Everyone wants to know how this gig works — how to stay home and pay your bills with your writing.
Aspiring freelancers usually have strong writing skills. But there are other strengths you may lack that could doom your chances.
What does it take to be a successful freelance writer? Is this career for you?
Here’s my unvarnished, let’s-get-real list of key traits you’ll need:
The Internet has made some things about building a freelance career as a writer a lot easier.
You can investigate what a magazine has recently written, for instance. Or find an editor on LinkedIn.
But in other ways, our Information Age has caused problems for writers.
I know because I keep hearing comments from new freelance writers like this:
“There’s so much to know and the world of freelance writing is rapidly changing. I feel so behind and don’t know how I’ll ever catch up. Can you help?”
Does that sound anything like the voice inside your head?
Wondering if can really jump in and build a freelance career as a writer, even though you don’t know everything right now?
I do have a tip on that.
Are you one of those freelancers in the writer’s dojo who secretly thinks you’re too weak at this writing thing to earn a living?
Maybe you’re scared you’ll screw up, suck at getting clients, fail to deliver high-quality work, and basically punch yourself in the face.
Or maybe you’re overwhelmed because you’re trying to learn pro-writer combos and strikes before you’ve learned the basics.
I know what it’s like to be one of the white-belt freelancers on the mat staring down opponents like Fear, Self-Doubt, Procrastination, and Lack of Direction.
It’s scary. It’s frustrating. And if you don’t do something about it, those bad guys from the Dojo of Doom and Failure will take you down.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. After some training, practice, and a few blows to the head, I learned five moves freelancers can use to beat fear and doubt.